August 2nd, 2010
I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times I get asked, or have this quoted to me each day.
When the paper reports the correct info which unless otherwise noted should, or could be expected** by readers at least, to pertain to local conditions, then fine, but when they don’t……………and then make no effort to actually report comparisons (easily available) comparing national results to Nelson / Tasman Bay results, then it’s a bit off.
Crickey, it’s a Nelson paper after all.
Nelson still has the time honoured tradition of an afternoon released main Newspaper, The Nelson Mail, and it’s read by a great many local people who read it from cover to cover.
To remain truthful & loyal to those local readers, it makes sense that you dispense relevant information to them, about them, and their area. After all isn’t that one of the main reasons why they are reading it in the first place?
Cue todays Business Page headline (Page Eight) from our local paper, The Nelson Mail;
Jobs, wages and house prices sluggish
With the following sub-header;
Housing slow as prices drop 7pc
Now if I was a local who perhaps entered the property market about every 7-8 years, and tries to keep track of its ups & downs by reading the paper…….hmmm?
What’s particularly frustrating is that the article doesn’t really delineate clearly……….. is the reporter (quoted generically as Fairfax) talking about the local market, the regional market, or the national market.
There are three regional metrics that show up in each months realestate.co.nz’s NZ Property Report, so in the interests of setting the records straight let me inform you of what the July 2010 version had to say about Nelson;
It would take almost a year to clear all the homes at present on the market, showing it was a “buyers” market.
NZ Property Report July 2010 says;
The 3 regions of the country which are fairly well balanced with neither a buyers nor sellers market are regions with a heavy influence of lifestyle and potentially overseas interest – Queenstown, Nelson and the Coromandel.
“….latest property report showed the average asking price in July was $400,481 – down nearly $10,000 from the June average.”
NZ Property Reports July 2010 tells us that;
Asking prices did however firm across 3 regions – Queenstown Lakes, Nelson and Gisborne. These South island regions also were regions that showed a more balanced market in both listings and inventory.
Mean asking price in Wellington was $428,487 in July, down almost 4%, while the inventory level in Wellington was up 10 per cent to 25 weeks – still much lower than the national average.
NZ Property Report July 2010 quotes;
Matched to these regions there were just 6 regions showing growth in listings with the Coromandel, Nelson and the West Coast recording listings growth of over 20%.
What’s even more discomforting about these generalizations from the Fairfax article is that a “layperson” will read into the article the fact that “they must be talking about the Nelson region”, when in fact, based on the last 3 months reports, the picture locally is actually quite a lot rosier than this article today suggests.
Cue the NZ Property Reports June 2010 mention about Nelson, they said;
Whilst the predominant sentiment across the country is still to it being a buyer’s market; at this time 6 of the 19 regions are this month moving towards a more balanced market, with the Nelson region clearly bucking the trend with a bias to a seller’s market with inventory below the LTA, sales activity strong and asking price expectation steady.
Newspapers have over the years built up credibility, but it’s not something that should ever be taken for granted by an Editor, never more so than in these Twitter and Facebook enabled times. Accurate, timely and locally relevant data/information is surely what mobile folk want these days, newspapers shouldn’t be making it so easy for them to make that choice.
** – let’s not forget that since the introduction of the REAA in Nov 2009, this is exactly the type of wording that Real Estate Agents now have to abide by too.
PS – quite interesting to see that when it appeared in The Press today the article had this headline;
Slow jobs and housing market
……yet when the same syndicated article appeared in the local paper today it said;
Jobs, wages and house prices sluggish
…guess sluggish gets more attention from readers than slow, and “house prices” is guaranteed to get the viewers eye quicker than “housing market.”.